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Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison buys Island Air

February 27, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • Larry Ellison owns 98% of Lanai, including two resorts and two golf courses with clubhouses. Now he owns a regional airline to get him there.  More:  Billionaire Larry Ellison buys a chunk of Hawaii
Larry Ellison owns 98% of Lanai, including two resorts and two golf courses… (Hawaii Tourism Authority…)

Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is following up his purchase of a Hawaiian island with a regional airline to get to and from the tropical paradise.

Ellison bought 98% of the island of Lanai in June from Los Angeles billionaire David Murdock. The exact purchase price of the deal has not been disclosed but local observers value the 141-square-mile island at more than $500 million.

A holding company owned by Ellison took control Wednesday of Island Air, a regional carrier serving airports on all major Hawaiian islands.

The airline has 245 employees and three turboprop planes, with 224 weekly flights between the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai.

"We are excited Mr. Ellison has acquired Island Air," Les Murashige, president of the airline, said in a statement. "He has the vision and resources to literally take Island Air to new heights."

The carrier said it has plans for additional planes, routes and services.

Lanai, the sixth-largest Hawaiian island, was once a pineapple plantation and is still sparsely inhabited. The purchase will include two resort hotels and two golf courses with clubhouses, according to Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission.

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